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"Teddy's Supplies Sexual Harassment PolicyAll employees of
<p> </p><p align="center"><strong>Teddy's Supplies Sexual Harassment Policy</strong></p><p>All employees of Teddy's Supplies are required to read and follow this policy. This policy was implemented on January 1, 2002, and is in effect until further notice. </p><p><strong>Scope of Policy</strong></p><p>This policy prohibits any illegal discrimination or harassment of any employee by another employee, co-worker, supervisor, or vendor. All employees are entitled to a harassment and discrimination free environment. The company has a "zero-tolerance" policy with respect to harassment or discrimination. A safe work environment is the goal of Teddy's Supplies.</p><p><strong>Responsibility and Reporting structure</strong></p><p>All employees are responsible for following this policy. In the event of a violation of this policy, employees should report the violation to their direct supervisor, unless doing so would put the employee at risk of further discrimination or harassment. In that case, the employee should report using the company website form which will submit the incident to Human Resources. Employees have the option of anonymously reporting incidents, but doing so does not provide the employee with any protection under the law. (Access the reporting form on the benefits page of the intranet.)</p><p><strong>Behavior Banned</strong></p><p>All illegal, discriminatory, or harassing behavior is prohibited. </p><p><strong>Discipline invoked</strong></p><p>Employees found to violate this policy may be terminated, suspended from work without pay, or transferred. This document will be considered the "warning" in the event of termination. No other warning is required. In the event a suspension or transference is a result of a violation of this policy, any 2<sup>nd</sup> offense will be met with immediate dismissal.</p><p>In the event a complaint against an employee is made, the employee will have the right of defense at a hearing prior to termination. This hearing will be held by the CEO and Director of HR, or by a committee created at their request or direction. </p><p><strong>No retaliation</strong></p><p>Employees will not be retaliated against for making valid complaints. In the event it is determined that an employee has filed a fraudulent complaint, this will be grounds for disciplinary action, including suspension without pay, transference or termination.</p><p><strong>Limitation period</strong></p><p>All complaints for violations of this policy must be made within 90 days of the occurrence of the behavior or they are waived under this policy.</p><p> </p><p>Signed: <u> <strong>Virginia Pollard</strong> </u> Date: <u> 8-12-2004 </u></p><p><strong>Teddy's Supplies Harassment report form</strong></p><p>Report any concerns to management here! Use this form if you feel you are a victim of some kind of harassment or if you are being mistreated in any way!</p><ul><li>1. Is your supervisor involved in a harassing, intimidating or otherwise unsafe situation? (Circle one.)</li></ul><p>Yes No</p><ul><li>2. If no but a co-worker is harassing you, please go to your supervisor and fill out a complaint form.</li><li>3. If yes, please provide your supervisor's name here: </li><li>4. What behavior is occurring? </li><li>5. Have you complained to your supervisor orally or in writing?</li><li>6. Have you complained to anyone at work orally or in writing?</li><li>7. If you have told any other person outside of work about this behavior, please list them here: </li><li>8. List the dates when the behavior has occurred.<u> </u></li><li>9. List any other employees, vendors, or others who have participated in the behavior. </li><li>10. Include your contact information and times we can contact you to discuss the situation. </li><li>11. Do you fear for your personal safety? If so, why?<u> </u></li></ul><p> </p><p><strong><u>Click here</u></strong> to submit your form. You will be contacted by an HR representative within 24 hours at the contact information listed in #9 above. Your ticket number is: <u> </u></p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>Francine Phillips-Cashier</strong></p><p>I have worked for the company for 10 years. Virginia would often come to work with tight clothes on. And all those phone calls she made were usually to men. I heard from some of the guys in the guard house that she was really easy with them, too.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Tony Morgan, VP Operations</strong></p><p>I have had several interactions with Steve King and all have been stellar and am very surprised by the accusations. I require all my employees to attend yearly discrimination workshops.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Ted Moore, CEO & Founder</strong></p><p>I have over 150 employees. Although 70% of the employees are men, the executive staff, 20 in total, are comprised of mostly women. I have made it a priority to ensure that our company hires and promotes our employees equally and fairly.</p><p> </p><p>Virginia Pollard worked as a cashier and clerk for Teddy's Supplies, a family-owned chain of film production equipment supply stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. During a routine performance evaluation, Virginia's supervisor at Teddy's complained that she made too many personal phone calls when she worked in the West Orange store. The supervisor noted this on Virginia's annual review, and warned her to keep personal calls to a bare minimum while at work. Soon thereafter, Teddy transferred Pollard to guard film equipment in the main warehouse behind the storefront; Virginia couldn't make personal calls there, and her work became exemplary. Her performance evaluation three months after her transfer was "meeting expectations" with no negative comments.</p><p> </p><p>Virginia Pollard was the only woman working in the warehouse, and she was often the victim of pranks perpetrated by her six male colleagues. Her co-workers taped her drawers shut, locked her out of the guard shack she sat in to watch the inventory, filled the guard shack with trash, and backed a forklift up to the door and made it backfire in her ear. One day a Teddy delivery driver sat in Pollard's chair and, when she tried to push him out of it, he bent her over his lap and spanked her. Pollard's new supervisor, Steve King, rarely enforced Teddy's rules against smoking, horseplay, foul language, and sexual harassment, and often indulged in such behaviors himself. Teddy's had a written sexual harassment policy which included a method for employees to report sexual harassment - the method included filing a complaint with the direct supervisor unless the direct supervisor was the perpetrator. </p><p> </p><p>In that event, the employee was to file the complaint online at <a href="
</a>. The form for reporting was a one page document. A copy of the policy which Virginia Pollard signed is <a href="
" target="new">located here</a>. The policy specifically states, "In the event of a violation of this policy, employees should report the violation to their direct supervisor, unless doing so would put the employee at risk of further discrimination or harassment. In that case, the employee should report using the company website form which will submit the incident to Human Resources." </p><p> </p><p>Pollard never filed a complaint with Steve King, her supervisor; she also did not file a complaint at the website, although she claimed she told King in July 2008 that she felt she was being "picked on" by the guys she worked with. She claims Steve King told her to "grow some balls" and to "get over herself." She testified during the NJ Human Rights Commission hearing that she tried to file an anonymous complaint but the website wasn't working the day she tried to do so. </p><p> </p><p>In August of 2008, King and the other warehouse workers put a sign on a truck that read "HARDHAT REQUIRED/BRA OPTIONAL." King and another employee called Pollard over to look at the sign and encouraged her to do as it said. She refused and tried to walk away. King promised not to report her to management, whereupon she lifted one side of her shirt in the back and exposed part of her bra on her backside. Upper management learned of the incident that October by a co-worker who filed an anonymous complaint online. After a brief investigation, Pollard was fired for exposing her bra. None of the men were disciplined. A man replaced Pollard in the guard shack.</p><p> </p><p>That November, Pollard filed a charge of sex discrimination with the New Jersey Commission on Human Rights. The Commission found that Pollard had been the victim of sex discrimination and that Teddy's reasons for firing her were pretext, and awarded her back wages and damages. Teddy's appealed to the circuit court, including in their case that Pollard had committed several infractions, including participating in the spanking incident. They reported that Pollard had failed to report any sexual harassment and included a copy of their sexual harassment policy as part of their defense case. The Circuit Court found that Teddy did have good reason to discipline Pollard but that firing her was in fact disparate treatment when compared with the utter lack of discipline given to King. The circuit court reversed the Commission's award of damages because it believed that Teddy had been right to discipline Pollard, but they ordered Teddy's to reinstate Pollard to her old position. Pollard appealed to the New Jersey Court of Appeals and refused to accept her job back.</p><p> </p><p><strong>Assignment:</strong></p><p>You are the independent Human Resources Consultant hired by Teddy's Supplies to help explain to the company what the case against them will entail. You have gleaned the facts from your investigations into the situation to date. You have never talked with Virginia Pollard. The case is currently in the appeals stage and the company executives have some questions for you. Answer them using the most recent legal information you can find.</p><p> </p><ul><li>1. Teddy's Supplies' CEO has asked you to advise him on the facts of the case, and your opinion of their potential liability.Write a memo to him which states your view of whether the company is exposed to liability on all issues you feel are in play. Include in your memo any laws which apply and any precedential cases either for or against Teddy's case which impact liability. Include your opinion of the "worst case" of damages the company may have to pay to Virginia.</li></ul><p> </p><ul><li>2. The Circuit Court overturned the decision of the NJ Human Rights Commission which hadfound that Pollard was the victim of Sexual Harassment and disparate treatment. Please answer these questions: </li></ul><p>A. Define sexual harassment, including both quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment. Which type(s) do you feel Pollard was a victim of (if either.) Provide law or a case to support your position. If you feel Pollard was not a victim of harassment in this case, explain why you feel that way, and provide law or a case to support your position.</p><p>B. Name an appellate court case where an employer was found liable for either quid pro quo or hostile environment sexual harassment. Describe the facts of the case, and the decision the court came to in the case. Explain whether you think that case applies to Pollard's case (why or why not) and whether you would want to use this case in Teddy's favor or whether Pollard may use it in her favor. Include the citation to the case and a link to it online.</p><p>C. Do you agree that Pollard was disparately treated? Why or why not? In your answer, define disparate treatment.</p><p>D. Does the existence of a sexual harassment policy provide a defense to Teddy's in this case? Why or why not? (Include the name and citation of at least two federal or state sexual harassment case(s) which provide precedential support to your defense statement.</p><ul><li>3. Review the sexual harassment policy which Teddy's has in place and which Virginia Pollard signed. Virginia Pollard claims she had planned to make an anonymous complaint but the website allowing that was down on the day she tried to do so. During the Human Rights Commission case, a review of the website statistics shows that Virginia accessed the website for downloading dental coverage forms at least three times during the time frame of the alleged discrimination. The commission determined that this ability of Teddy's to track employees' use of the site was a violation of their anonymity and therefore, refused to consider this information. The circuit court did consider this in their decision. Providethree recommendations to the CEO for a way to ensure that employees in the future can not claim "technical issues" for why they didn't make a complaint. Explain, in your recommendations, the legal consequences to an employee if they do not utilize the complaint mechanism of the sexual harassment policy. Support these recommendations with current case law.</li></ul><p> </p><ul><li>4. How would Pollard's case be impacted if her replacement had been a female? Would her case be different? Would her damages be different?</li></ul>
6 years ago.
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